Get better feed statistics
1 September 2006 in Microsoft, Tools | Comments enabled

FeedBurner

A couple of days ago I was talking to John and he asked how many hits I get to my RSS feed. The truth is, I get heaps, but how many unique readers does that account for? He asked if I divide the number to give an estimate or how did I manage it? I turned him on to FeedBurner.

FeedBurner is a service that you can use for free that “wraps up” your existing RSS/ATOM/Whatever feed into a URL sitting on the FeedBurner domain. For example, recently I updated my RSS feeds to point to:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/JDBlog

I was a wee bit reluctant to do this because I like seeing the raw traffic against my server for how many hits the feed is getting. Over time however I realised that because I can’t get any meaningful figures about my blog feed (see the start of this post) I was better off using FeedBurner.

FeedBurner provides the following statistics for free:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Graph of subscribers over time
  • Pie graph of RSS aggregators being used
  • Live traffic reports about people hitting your feed
  • How many click through from RSS items to your website
  • RSS optimisation services
  • Publicising services
  • Monetising services (currently invite only)
  • Troubleshooting services for resolving common feed issues

If you elect to pay a small monthly fee you can also find out:

  • Detailed information about each click through(who clicked etc)
  • Enclosure statistics
  • Ranking of item clicks for complete stats or search engine stats
  • More…

Of course one of the big benefits is that if you move your blog or RSS feed you simply have to associate your FeedBurner feed to the new location and not interrupt all your existing readers. Certainly using a tool like this helps give deeper meaning to how parts of your blog or website are being used.

 - JD


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